The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: February 2013
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

This Week: Back to Subspecialty Surgery & Other Random Things...

My first (and hopefully last) cast
This past week I finished up with anesthesia and returned to ENT. For the last half of the clerkship I am on the Riley Children's Hospital/Otology service. So far I've seen how to care for adults and children with hearing loss both acquired and congenital - in addition to ear infections, tonsillitis, vertigo, and other "bread and butter" ENT related things. It's not anesthesia hours, but I am still really enjoying learning from my residents and attendings.

Friday I sat in on a surgery in which they were reconstructing a 10 year-old's ear canal with the hopes of helping her hear better after subsequent surgeries and prosthesis. This was the longest surgery I have been in thus far - basically my whole morning- which really isn't that long compared to like a GI service, but it was a good way to practice going longer than two hours without food...

Throughout my subspecialty month we have had 6:30AM lectures 2-3 times per week (Yes...What?!) on the different surgery subspecialties. Most have been pretty interesting but I think know it would be a little better if they were later in the day...(jus sayin'...) And it probably wouldn't be so bad if I was allowing myself to drink coffee. Anyway, this week we got to learn how to cast in orthopaedics clinic. That was pretty cool :-)

Last Monday, I had another OB appointment and got to see the how Baby J is growing. He or she looks great! The ultrasound tech said even if we had wanted to find out the sex of the baby, we would not have been able to, because for the majority of the time he or she was sitting crossed legged and hiding all the goods. We did get some funny shots of the little kiddo laying back kicking their feet up (see below). That was pretty cute :-D

Straight reclining in the womb...Can you see that cute little leg?!
Today, I woke up really feeling like I need to renew my mind and rekindle my fire for Christ. Honestly, I have had this tugging at my spirit for a while, but yesterday was one of those "knock-you-on-your-feet" type days and all I could do was be quiet for a while and think. There are quite a few things weighing on my heart over the past few months and I really feel like part of my restlessness is because I haven't been still enough to hear what God is saying to me... I'm listening now, Lord. Really...

Despite a not-so-good day yesterday, God is still so good to us and I have so much to be thankful for. I hope you all are having a great weekend. Happy Sunday!

Post-Church Breakfast

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons...Eat Them!

No, this post isn't about some creative lemon dessert recipe I found on Pinterest. It's related to my pregnancy (if you're tired of reading about it, I don't know what to tell ya...), and the bouts of nausea that this baby continues to generously bestow upon me daily. I have always loved sour candies and fruits, but the Mister continues to remind me how "not normal" my newest snack is - whole lemons.

I will slice a whole lemon and devour it like an orange. Don't judge. Baby J and I like it, plus it takes away the nausea, so I think that is a win-win situation...

For the mamas out there, what crazy cravings did you have during pregnancy?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Anesthesia

Photo Credit
From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: Anesthesia at Indiana University Hospital

2. What did I like most about this specialty?
- Seeing first hand how the anesthetics we learned about in pharmacology are used and the body's immediate response to them
- Seeing how the anesthesiologist is critical to keeping the flow of the OR going - if they aren't ready the surgery cannot start
- Interacting with many different specialties and getting to see a variety of surgeries up close and personal
- Learning about how each of the various intra-opertaive monitoring devices are used to make sure that the patient is remaining stable
- The on-your-feet problem solving that you needed to use in order to keep things moving
3. What did I like least about this specialty?
My only complaint about anesthesia is the limited patient contact you have. You meet the patient, talk about the plan, put them to sleep when they get to the OR, and then wheel them to recovery where you sign-off.

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?

I think so. The majority of anesthesia takes place in the OR/hospital setting and that was the entirety of my exposure. I know that there are also some outpatient opportunities in pain managament that might have more ongoing/long-term patient contact, and it would have been nice to see some of that too. Overall, I think I got a pretty good idea about what things are like.
5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible?

Yes, I do think my interest, values, skills, and personality all fit with this specialty. Although patient contact may be limited, I feel like we were really using our knowledge to help the patient and we saw the immediate effect of that. This field is definitely more instant gratification oriented which is a lot different compared to fields where patient compliance completely dictates outcome. Finally, I worked with a number of different anesthesiologist during my rotation and they all were easy going, organized, and personable - people with whom I think I would get along with well. Also, quite a few of the women I worked with had kids and appeared to be balancing things so well (You know I asked!). That is HUGE for me.
6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them?

As stated before, I would mainly be in the hospital. I could do adult, pediatrics, or both. I am not sure about the other places I could practice. Maybe a pain clinic?

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty?

 I definitely should do a bit more research on other places you can find anesthesiologists outside of the OR.

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience?

Definitely, my main concern about anesthesia was I thought there was little or no patient interaction. It is limited, but you still have a chance to help put the patient's worries at ease and also can be more or less involved as you prefer.
9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me?

I think it definitely made me seriously consider anesthesia as a career choice
10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 8

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty:
I think anesthesia could be a good fit for my life and career goals. I guess the big deciding factor is whether or not I want to do surgery. It was very cool to see all the different surgeries. This forced me to do some self reflection about if I felt like the surgeries are something I just wanted to watch, or if I wanted to be actually doing them. Decisions...decisions....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Things Little Nate Says: 4 Years-Old Edition; Volume 1

Eating PB&J like a boss...
This post is long overdue. I'm sure I am biased, but this kid gets funnier as he gets older. Here are some of the hilarious things Natey is doing and saying these days...

The very first thing he says as he's walking into before-care at school a few weeks ago (for the first time since Christmas break):
"Guess what? I'm four now and I'm going to get a brother and a sister and a dog...well, a dog after we move into a bigger house..."

Natey: "What are you eating?"
Me: "A salad, want some?"
Natey: "No, no thank you for that..."

"I missed you so much :big hug: So how was your day mommy/daddy?"

"Is your baby sleeping? Can I talk to your baby?"

"Is my baby awake?"

Natey: "Where's daddy?"
Me: "He went to Sam's Club."
Natey: "He went without me?!"

Natey: "How old do you have to be to be a grown up?"
Me: "18 years old"
Natey: "No, I think you need to be a thousand..."

"I want to name the baby Ellie." (he keeps referring to his little sibling as a girl)

Natey: "Can your baby come out?"
Me: "Well the doctors are going to help mommy get the baby out this summer"
Natey: "Are you going to open your mouth like this? AHHHHH!"

My husband's mom came to take care of Nate when he had a short break from school. Natey hadn't seen her yet since she arrived when he was sleeping. In the morning when his dad was getting ready for work, I guess Natey thought we were just gonna let him chill at home alone and he told his dad: "Have a good day. Don't worry, I'll be brave..." HA!

Natey every other day: "How old are you now?"
Me: "25 still..."
Natey: "I think you're a thousand!"

Natey while eating an oatmeal cream pie: "These cookies don't make crumbs...Did you know that mom?"
Me: "Oh really, who told you that?"
Natey: "Myself."

Natey: "I have good news and bad news..."
Me: "What is it?"
Natey: "Nothing."
Me: "You shouldn't tell people you have bad news because it will make them sad or worried."
Natey: :blank stare: "Mom, I have good news and bad news..."
Me: "What did I just say?"
Natey: "The bad news is I can't find my stickers. The good news is I have my horsey."

While the husband is making his coffee...
Natey: (looking disgusted) "Are you putting eggs in your coffee?"
Dad: "No, it's coconut..."
Natey: "Ooooh, when did you go to the beach for that?"

One day I picked Nate up early from school because I had an early afternoon...
Nate's teacher: "Nate! Look who's here!"
Natey: "Mom?! What?!..."
You would have thought he won Publisher's Clearinghouse haha

One night I was getting Natey ready for bed and he coughed and then quietly said: "Bless me God"
Then he coughed again and said, "bless me God. Hallelujah!" (with appropriate praise hand raise)
Me: "What did you say?"
Natey: "I was talking to Jesus. We did that at Lita's church."

Hope we brought a smile to your Tuesday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Friday!!

Heading home from school without a care in the world...
Happy Friday everybody!

Anesthesia has been a dream. I have been home by lunch time on most days - which gives me enough time to study, take a quick nap, and pick the kid up from school at the regular dismissal time - i.e. no after school care. I  have even been making dinner like 3x/week. This is definitely the good life... :cue music and dance break:

My next OB appointment is this Monday and it's the big ultrasound! (You really only get two or three ultrasounds per pregnancy if everything is going according to plan - right at the beginning, in the middle to check out "anatomy" and find out sex if the parents so choose, and at the end to assess almost-birth weight.)  Time is flying by, and I'm so excited to see how Baby J is growing!!! The husband and I have decided to stay on team green throughout this pregnancy.

After Nate was born, I always thought about how it would be cool to experience finding out the sex of our baby for the first time on his or her birth day. This is easier said than done because most days I want to know!!! Being the planner I am, it's been hard to fully commit to the idea because I want to start buying all things pink or updating our baby boy nursery reserve, but I have my shopping list locked an loaded for last minute gender-themed things (like bedding and extraneous clothes outside of the essential onesies and sleepers) to order once the baby gets here :-) Luckily our crib, travel system, and pack and play are all gender-neutral so really there are no big ticket items we are lacking. However, there are a few updated things I want to get like a high chair and swing - both of which can be gender-neutral as well.

Natey keeps referring to the baby as a "she". I keep telling him it could be a girl OR boy, but he keeps making that distinction on his own. Maybe he knows something we don't ;-)

This weekend, not too much on the agenda outside of studying for my anesthesia exam and going on a Valentine's Day date with the hubby.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Salivary Glands & Life Plans...

Photo Credit
Cute title right? haha

Just got out of surgery and was sent home for the day because our last two cases cancelled. Today we took out someone's submandibular gland (thus part of the title). Well, the residents did, but I retracted chin skin to keep things visible, cut sutures, and I think I can be included in the "we" too...haha

Did I mention how much I am enjoying my time in the OR? < I know I did, but I just wanted to say it again... And I think Baby J likes it too because I felt some little kicks when I was bending over the patient looking into the neck (pictured). Pretty awesome :-)

I'm starting to panic a little bit because now that I've started subspecialty surgery and I like it a lot, I really, REALLY don't know what field I am going to go into. I still love the idea of primary care and having a long term relationship with my patients, but now I realized I couldn't let surgery go completely :le sigh:

In other news, overall I am still feeling pretty good during the day. My body is getting used to not eating every second without getting nauseous which has been helpful for normal person functioning. When I get home I do get hit with some nausea though. I started counting my calories yesterday just so I could see where I am at as far as food intake. I am gaining weight a lot faster with this pregnancy than my first so I really am trying to be conscious about at least cutting out the junk food and drinking mostly water so that the calories I am taking in are at least better choices for my body. Cutting the pop and coffee was the easy part, but this kid has an affinity for ice cream so we just need to find some balance. I wish it was a bit warmer out, because I think a nice walk sounds fun - especially because I need some stress-relieving endorphins. To all the mamas out there, if you know of any good healthy lifestyle + pregnancy resources, please share!

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